Mass. bill would soften flood insurance rules
BOSTON (AP) - State lawmakers are considering a proposal aimed at softening the impact of new federal flood insurance rules on many coastal homeowners.
The bill, backed by House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Attorney General Martha Coakley, is scheduled for debate on Wednesday. It would tie the level of flood insurance that must be purchased to a homeowner's outstanding mortgage balance, rather than the full replacement value of the home.
State officials have pointed to enormous increases in flood insurance premiums resulting from the new rules that were approved in an effort to keep the National Flood Insurance Program solvent.
A bill that passed the U.S. House last week would roll back provisions of the federal law, while the Senate has backed a measure calling for a four-year delay in implementation of the law.
MASSACHUSETTS CONGRESS-SEPT 11
Rep. Lynch calls for release of Sept. 11 documents
BOSTON (AP) - U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch is again calling for the release of additional documents related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The Massachusetts Democrat is joining with North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones to call attention to a resolution they filed urging the Obama administration to declassify 28 pages of a joint investigation by the House and Senate intelligence committees.
The two are holding a press conference in Washington on Wednesday with family members of victims killed at each of the three attack sites in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania.
Lynch has said that he's reviewed the classified section and believes the information should be made public.
Lynch said the 28 pages "contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy."
Mass. Registry fees expected to go up
BOSTON (AP) - It may soon cost more to own a car in Massachusetts.
The state Transportation Department's board of directors is expected to approve a series of Registry of Motor Vehicles fee increases at its meeting Wednesday.
The fee hikes are needed to close a $53 million gap in the department's budget.
Although the exact nature of the increases is yet to be revealed, they are expected to be on the registry's most common and lucrative transactions, including vehicle registrations, driver's licenses, vehicle inspections, and title certificates.
If approved, the fee hikes will take effect July 1.
The Boston Globe reports that the $53 million shortfall is the result of the department's efforts to end the practice of paying salaries on credit, and instead incorporate employee pay into annual budgets.
Conway man pleads guilty to bank fraud
BOSTON (AP) - The owner of a private photography school in western Massachusetts has pleaded guilty to using $2.6 million of the school's money to buy a home, clothes and for gambling.
George J. Rosa III, owner and president of the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to bank fraud and tax evasion.
Prosecutors say Rosa, of Conway, used the money for construction at his personal residence, gambling, and approximately $55,000 on clothing, footwear, and accessories.
Rosa disguised the expenses by reconfiguring them on the company's books as proper business expenses. Rosa also used the company's altered books as a basis to file false income tax returns for himself and the company.
Rosa is scheduled to be sentenced on May 29.
Ludlow officer facing drug charges suspended
LUDLOW, Mass. (AP) - A high-ranking Ludlow police officer charged with stealing drugs from the department's evidence locker has been suspended without pay.
Lt. Thomas Foye had been suspended with pay since his arrest in August, but because he was indicted by a grand jury last week, the town's Select Board voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend him without pay.
According to court documents, video surveillance captured the 49-year-old Foye entering the locked narcotics locker at the police station, where he appears to handle and open evidence bags. He is charged with tampering with evidence, theft of drugs from a dispensary and cocaine possession.
In a brief statement at Tuesday's board meeting, the 25-year veteran thanked the board and said he "went into surgery a hero and came out a drug addict."
CHICKEN FEET AND FISH
Chicken feet, fish left at Taunton library
(Information in the following story is from: Taunton (Mass.) Daily Gazette, http://www.tauntongazette.com )
TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) - The director of the Taunton Public Library says she's dumbfounded that someone would leave chicken feet and rotting fish around the building.
A custodian found the animal parts on Saturday at various locations, including the front steps and in a book donation bin.
He reported the prank to Director Susanne Costa Duquette on Monday, and she notified police.
Duquette tells The Taunton Daily Gazette that closed-circuit video shows two young men in hoodies carrying something up the steps after closing on Friday and putting something near the door. That pair met two others wearing hoodies, and the group walked toward the donation bin.
Duquette says the library has had trouble with disruptive youth and suspects the prank was pulled by kids getting revenge for being asked to leave the library.
Mass. launches program to advance women
BOSTON (AP) - The state is funding a program to provide at least a dozen yearlong graduate fellowships to place women in state managerial jobs with the aim of jump starting their careers.
The program, expected to cost about $1 million in its first year, follows recent studies that show Massachusetts isn't keeping pace with other states when it comes to women in leadership posts.
Gov. Deval Patrick told The Boston Globe that in a compettive global economy it's critical the state prepares everyone to contribute.
The fellowship, to be formally announced Wednesday, is being developed with Bentley University's Center for Women in Business. Many details are still being worked out, but state officials hope to begin accepting applications by the end of April, and placing fellows in full salary jobs by September.
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